Specializing in Stage Pocket Systems, Floor Pockets, Pour Boxes, Custom Panels, Prefabricated Panels, Panel Fabrication, Spec Fabrication, and Connecctors
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Submitting Files to Ace Backstage Co.
When submitting files to ACE please follow the instructions below in order to expedite your custom spec fabrication request. Taking time to setup and export your files with the proper file settings will reduce possible formatting issues as well as turnaround time for completion of your custom project. If you have any problems or questions with file export settings, please call 661-295-5760.


1.  File Formats accepted:  .dwg, .dxf, .sit, .zip

2.  Fonts accepted:
  Standard Text Fonts (Arial, Courier, Helvetica, etc.)


The DXF file format allows users of different CAD software to exchange drawings through a common format. It also allows those drawings to be sent to CNC equipment and analytical programs. The Drawing Interchange Format is supported by most CAD programs. The DWG file format also allows for the exchange of drawings but is not supported by all CAD programs. Generally, DWG will be a preferred method of file exchange when dealing in a cross-platform environment with most design professionals. As with any channel of communication, less destructive interference means more accurate and timely data.

While the transfer of data between PowerCADD and other CAD programs is virtually seamless, communication problems can and do occur. Planning is beneficial to success in all aspects of drawing, especially when exchanging data between clients. Communication between drawing file users is mandatory. Many translation problems can be prevented by substituting or avoiding certain types of objects. It helps to know a drawing is destined to be translated so substitutions can be made during a drawing’s initial construction. This is not always possible and there are ways to edit drawings before translating, when needed.

AutoCAD is referenced throughout this guide. However, the information presented is applicable to most any DXF or DWG file created with programs other than AutoCAD. If you are not sure about a program’s DXF or DWG compatibility, create a test DWG and DXF files and try to open them in AutoCAD. If AutoCAD will not open the file, there is a good chance the DWG and DXF Translator will not either.


DWG and DXF to PowerCADD
The following Export Instructions are for AutoCAD Users. The instructions and recommendations are for coordination between PowerCADD and AutoCAD. The following information is applicable to exporting AutoCAD and other DXF or DWG files for use in PowerCADD.

Exporting DXF or DWG Files for ACE
Here are a few tips on saving and exporting files:

1. Create a list of layers in the files that will be translated and determine which layers contain the information we need. Once the required layers are known and verified, make sure that all other layers are deleted from the files you save/export. This will dramatically reduce the chance for errors in translation.
2. Fax or email a hard copy print (Adobe PDF File Format) of the project along with the files. This allows us to compare files and determine if there are any discrepancies/problems with the files.
3. List the name of the drawing in the body of the email as well as the subject line.
4. List the name of the software that created the drawing along with an accurate version number. For example, AutoCAD R.12.1.
5. List the exact scale of the drawings. Clarify scales written as 1:40. For example, 1" = 40", 40', 40 miles.
6. List the intended printed scale and units.
7. List the intended page size when printed.
8. List the units used to create the drawing. For example, did you use fractional inches, fractional feet and inches, decimals, or decimal feet and inches.

Limits and Extents
Limits refer to the boundary or page size setup in AutoCAD. Limits in AutoCAD represent the maximum area in which you can draw, technically. The textbook method of setting Limits in AutoCAD is to set them slightly larger than the objects drawn to accommodate a border and title block. Verfiy that the Limits are sized as close to the actual object boundary as possible (allowing space for border/title block), which will eliminate the extra white space on the saved incoming drawing.

Relationships and Equivalents between AutoCAD and PowerCADD
The following is a list of AutoCAD entities and their PowerCADD equivalent. Other AutoCAD-like programs may use different terminology for their shapes.

In AutoCAD In PowerCADD
Paper Size Limits
Select All Bounding Box Extents
Reduce To Fit Zoom All
Select All/Display Selection Zoom Extents
Arc Arc
Block Group
Circle Circle
Dimension Group
Line Line
Point Point
Polyline Polygon or Group
Solid Polygon
Trace Polygon

External References (Xrefs)
One of the features AutoCAD offers is the External Reference (Xref). Starting with Release 11, AutoCAD supports workgroup design. By creating Xrefs, users can work on many different parts of the same drawing simultaneously. Each time the Xref’s source drawing is updated, it appears in each of the group member’s Xrefs. This allows members of the design team to make corrections on their part of the drawing during the initial design phase. Xrefs are not directly supported in PowerCADD. Therefore, some modifications are needed in order to export your AutoCAD drawings with Xrefs. If the Xrefs are necessary to your project, then perform the following steps.

1. Detach the Xref and convert the Xref into a Block. Once the Xref is Blocked, it will become a permanent object within the drawing and will function like any other Block. Alternatively, you can also use the Bind Xref’s command before exporting/saving the drawing as a DXF file.
2. Alternatively you can use the Bind Xref's command and save a copy of the drawing.

Scale Basics and AutoCAD Drawing Scale
Look at the Architectural scale 1/4" = 1'0". It says each 1/4 inch of the drawing represents one foot of the actual size of the building at the site. You can also say that one inch of the drawing represents four feet of the real size of the building because 4 x 1/4" = 1". Now, four feet is equal to 48 inches, so you can say one inch of the drawing represents 48 inches of the real size of the building, or 1:48 scale. These are the two most common ways of representing one of the many scales used in drafting, 1/4" = 1'0" and 1:48.

AutoCAD handles drawing scale by drawing in full scale (i.e. 1:1) whereas PowerCADD interprets Scale Information Received using the DWG and DXF Translator External with the incoming drawing coordinates as FULL SCALE INCHES. For example, if an AutoCAD user typed in 10'6" while drawing a line, that line would appear as 126.0 in the DXF file.

Unitless Scale Ratio Conversion Table

Inches = Feet Ratio Fractions = Feet
1:01 Full Scale
1:02 6 in. = 1 ft.
1:04 3 in. = 1 ft.
1:08 1-1/2 in. = 1 ft.
1 in. = 10 in. 1:10
1:12 1 in. = 1 ft.
1:16 3/4 in. = 1 ft.
1 in. = 20 in. 1:20
1:24 1/2 in. = 1 ft.
1 in. = 30 in. 1:30
1 in. = 40 in. 1:40
1:48 1/4 in. = 1 ft.
1 in. = 50 in. 1:50
1 in. = 60 in. 0.083333333
0.086111111 3/16 in. = 1 ft.
1 in. = 70 in. 0.090277778
1 in. = 80 in. 0.097222222
1 in. = 90 in. 0.104166667
0.108333333 1/8 in = 1 ft.
1 in. = 100 in. 0.111111111
1 in. = 10 ft. 0.125
0.175 1/16 in = 1 ft.
1 in. = 20 ft. 0.208333333
1 in. = 30 ft. 0.291666667
1 in. = 40 ft. 0.375
1 in. = 50 ft. 0.458333333
1 in. = 60 ft. 0.541666667
1 in. = 70 ft. 0.625
1 in. = 80 ft. 0.708333333
1 in. = 90 ft. 0.791666667
1 in. = 100 ft. 0.875

Paper Space & Troubleshooting
Paper space allows you to plot different views of the same drawing, at different scales all at once. The plotted end result looks like several different drawings on one sheet. On disk, it appears as one drawing file. The paper space function originated in Rel. 11 of AutoCAD. When exporting or saving files for ACE verify that AutoCAD’s Tilemode is set to equal 1 and use DXFIX to translate the drawing as a Rel. 10 format. Tilemode is the command that takes AutoCAD 11 and 12 users into and out of paper space. Translating as Rel. 10 will place any items drawn directly in paper space like title blocks, symbol legends, and borders into model space.

AutoCAD Versions Accepted
Any file versions of AutoCAD Rel. 9 or earlier are not accepted. The PowerCADD DXF External may not read DXF files correctly if created with versions of AutoCAD before Rel. 9.

Use only Standard Text Fonts when exporting and saving AutoCAD project files for ACE. Standard Fonts include: Arial, Courier, and Helvetica. Any non-proportional AutoCAD text will appear as normal text in PowerCADD. Text aligned or fitted to the starting and ending points in AutoCAD will be left justified only from the starting point.

AutoCAD blocks will translate as PowerCADD groups. The block names will be translated and can be read and printed with the PowerCADD’s Symbol Report. Unnamed blocks will appear as grouped objects. Write Blocks, Wblocks as they are called, will be treated only as blocks.

Fill On/Off
Filled objects like traces, polylines, and solids from AutoCAD will translate as unfilled polygons.

Hatches and Hatches as Solid Fills
Hatches used in AutoCAD will translate as a grouped object containing many smaller lines. This is essentially what a hatch is. The hatch can be ungrouped and edited. Hatches from AutoCAD can create a problem because AutoCAD allows unlimited scaling of hatch patterns. The smaller the scale, the more densely packed the hatch pattern will be. Remove all hatches from project files before exporting and saving.

This reference guide makes no attempt to give all of the comparisons between the characteristics of PowerCADD and AutoCAD, nor can it address every single situation when translating DXF and DWG files. It does provide information about these programs you can utilize when communicating via DWG and DXF file exchanges. We hope the guide will help you avoid problems. Please help us plan and communicate.

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